Support ramped up ahead of Scottish Freeview changes


Freeview is ramping up support and advice for viewers in Northern Scotland, two weeks ahead of the first retune event in the region.

The former Grampian TV region is the first full region to go through a reconfiguration and clearance of Freeview frequencies following an Ofcom decision to clear bandwidth for future 5G mobile services. The changes follow a pilot in the Scottish Borders in March.

On 26th July 2017, parts of the Shetland Islands will become the first to be affected by the frequency changes. From August, the changes will start to affect parts of the mainland, spreading southwards across the former Grampian TV region in stages until the beginning of October.

Viewers who lose channels will need to retune to restore them. This will affect viewers with Freeview, YouView (BT, TalkTalk, Plusnet), EE TV or Now TV Smart Boxes. 

On-screen messages in the fortnight leading up to the change will be broadcast to viewers in the affected area.

To help viewers, Freeview has set up a new webpage at www.freeview.co.uk/tvchanges, which has a timeline showing the change dates and affected areas.

A dedicated telephone support number for viewers in Northern Scotland has also been set up - this can be reached on 0808 1000 288. In the event that affected viewers are unable to restore all available channels after a retune, they will be referred to an aerial specialist, provided by Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited (DMSL).

DMSL has been set up by mobile operators to help mitigate the affects of Freeview frequency changes and interference from new mobile services on former TV frequencies. DMSL also operates under the 'at800' name.

During the next three years, all other parts of the UK will have their turn as frequencies are cleared on a region-by-region process. The process involves the reconfiguration of hundreds of transmitter sites, with major work required at some sites. Timings for the rest of the UK are subject to fine weather allowing engineers to work on transmitter masts, but it is currently anticipated that following the conclusion of work in northern Scotland, the West Midlands and London will be next in line during the first part of 2018.

  • A further retune is required across the UK on the 2nd August 2017 due to Freeview channel changes. This is unrelated to the frequency clearance in N Scotland. 



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